Screenwriter Akela Cooper revealed the news as she talked about the process of writing the script for the horror film, as well as her personal struggle with studio executives. Cooper explained to the LA Times [as per Deadline] that the film had a “higher” body count amongst other things originally.
The film writer said: “No shade to Universal, love them, and I understand that once the trailer went viral, teenagers got involved and you want them to be able to see it. There should be an unrated version at some point. I heard it is on the books. But yes, it was way gorier. Her body count in the script was higher than in the movie.”
Cooper revealed that she and producer James Wan disagreed on a couple of the character’s endings. Admitting that the original script was far from a “scale massacre”, the Malignant writer said: “She [M3GAN] did kill a bunch more people, including a couple of characters whom James [Wan] was like, ‘I like what you did with those people, but I want them to live.’ I was merciless, but again, that is me. My humor is extremely dark.”
Although M3GAN is in the horror genre, it’s been getting equally as kind reviews for some of its more comedic elements. Cooper said that it’s “exciting” to see the shift from studio executives that were swaying away from gory films – something she has personal experience with.
Cooper explained: “An exec who read one of my specs and really liked it said, ‘It’s gory and no one’s doing gore right now. We have to wait for a horror movie that has gore to come out and be a hit, and then the market will shift.’ I was sitting there, like, ‘OK … we could lead that charge’.
“Now I’m [hearing], ‘There’s gore, and it’s not a problem.’ I’m happy that I could have a hand in bringing back fun horror that doesn’t take itself so seriously. I’m reading about more horror movies that are wild, out-there ideas coming out or being bought.”
She added: “And some of them are original, which is good! I’m happy that I could steer that ship so that studio execs can be like, ‘Oh! There might actually be money in them thar hills’.”
M3GAN is showing in cinemas now.